In the recent years, the Asia-Pacific region has been a prime target for theme park owners. As such, people from within the region as well as the US and Europe have been flocking to our lands the explore the kinds of amusement parks/theme parks that Asia has to offer. So much so that in 2013, the attendance was up 7.5% compared with the previous year, compared to a 2.5% increase for North and South America. It’s safe to say that the multi-billion theme park business in Asia is truly exploding.

As we speak, plans for new parks in Malaysia, Seoul, and China are currently underway, and this is only because the demands for these fun attractions need to be met. Here are some of the top theme parks in the Asia-Pacific region (for now):

Tokyo DisneySea, Japan

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Tokyo DisneySea is a 176-acre theme park at the Tokyo Disney Resort located in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, just outside Tokyo. It was originally planned for California but was later scrapped and built right next to Tokyo Disneyland instead.Tokyo DisneySea was the fastest theme park in the world to reach the milestone of 10 million guests, having done so in 307 days after its grand opening.

Tokyo DisneySea

What’s special about the theme park is that most of its attractions won’t be found elsewhere – from concept to rides, and even right down to its merchandise i.e. Duffy the Disney Bear. Tokyo DisneySea has several divisions called “ports of call”. The entrance to the park is Mediterranean Harbor, which opens up to 6 more nautically-themed ports: American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.

For more information, visit their website.

Everland, South Korea

Everland Resort is a theme park in Yongin, a city in Gyeonggi-do province, South Korea. It is also South Korea’s largest theme park and with 6.6 million visitors, Everland ranked 13th in the world for amusement park attendance in 2011. In fact, one out of every 6 Koreans visited Everland in 2006 – that’s more than 8.2 million people.

Everland Korea

It boasts the largest roller coaster in the country, as well as cartoon mascots who dress up in traditional garb. There’s a sledding hill in the winter, and tulip and rose festivals are planned for when the weather warms up. Along with its main attractions, Everland also includes a zoo and a water park known as Caribbean Bay. Everything and anything you can imagine!

For more information, visit their website.

Universal Studios Singapore

Located in on Sentosa Island, Universal Studio Singapore is Singapore’s first bona fide theme park. It is the second Universal Studios theme park to open in Asia (Japan being the first), and the first in Southeast Asia. The theme park is 49 acres in size, occupying the easternmost part Resorts World Sentosa. There are a total of 24 attractions, of which 18 are original or specially adapted for the park.

Universal Studios Singapore

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The park consists of 7 themed zones (Hollywood, New York, Sci-Fi City, Ancient Egypt, Lost World, Far Far Away, and Madagascar) which surround a lagoon. Each zone is based on a blockbuster movie or a television show, featuring their own unique attractions, character appearances, dining and shopping areas. The park also features the world’s tallest pair of dueling roller coasters that are based on the popular television series, “Battlestar Galactica”, the Transformers ride, a castle from the world of Shrek and Monster Rock, a live musical show featuring the Universal Monsters.

For more information, visit their website.

Changzhou China Dinosaur Park, China

Take a train ride a mere hour and a half from Shanghai and you’ll stumble upon a gargantuan dinosaur theme park in the heart of Changzhou. China Dinosaurs Park (also called China Dinosaurs Land) is a theme park located in Changzhou, Jiangsu, China. It covers more than 600 mu (0.27 km2). As it is a theme park about dinosaurs, it is also called the “Eastern Jurassic Park”.

China Dinosaur Park

The park features a water park, playground and museum complete with massive reptile replicas such as a nearly complete fossil skeleton of the Sinosauropteryx (similar to Archaeopteryx) as well as large fossils such as those of a Brachiosaurus and a Hadrosaurus. If a festival approaches, the Changzhou China Dinosaur Park will also organise a big parade with people in cartoon costumes dancing and singing together. It’s best explored by foot, on a scooter, or a bicycle.

Yas Waterworld, United Arab Emirates

What? An amusement park in Abu Dhabi? Well, we never! Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s first mega waterpark, set across 15 hectares of the exciting entertainment complex that is Yas Island. The park offers 43 rides, slides and attractions that will thrill the whole family, which includes “never seen before” features such as the world’s longest, fastest tornado waterslide, the region’s first looping waterslide, and the world’s first interactive water and laser rollercoaster.

Its award-winning theme, based on an original story developed exclusively for the waterpark, pays tribute to the Emirati culture with the UAE’s pearl-diving heritage at the core.

For more information, visit their website.

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland is located on reclaimed land in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island, which opened to visitors in 2005. The park is divided into “lands” (themed areas) and well-concealed backstage areas. When the park initially opened, it consisted of only 4 classic themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A. (designed to resemble an early 20th-century Midwest town), Adventureland (featuring jungle-themed adventures), Fantasyland, Tomorrowland (an optimistic vision of the future).

Hong Kong Disneyland

But about 5 years later, 3 new themed-lands opened: Toy Story Land, based on the Disney·Pixar film series Toy Story; Grizzly Gulch, reminiscing an abandoned mining town set amidst mountains and woods; Mystic Point, heart of a dense, uncharted rain forest where supernatural events take place. Throughout the park are “Hidden Mickeys”, or representations of Mickey Mouse heads inserted subtly into the design of attractions and environmental decor. Amazingly, the theme park’s cast members speak in Cantonese, English, and Mandarin.

For more information, visit their website.

Ancol Dreamland, Indonesia

Taman Impian Jaya Ancol otherwise known as Ancol Dreamland is an integral part of Ancol Bay City, a resort destination located along Jakarta’s waterfront, in Ancol Kelurahan, Pademangan, Indonesia. Ancol Dreamland opened in 1966 and is currently the largest integrated tourism area in South East Asia, boasting a theme park, hotels, and other recreational facilities.

Ancol Dreamland

It is divided into 10 areas: Fantasy World (with over 30 rides), Atlantis Water Adventure (with 8 pools), Ocean Dream Samudra (with 8 shows and a 4D theatre), SeaWorld, Beaches, Pasar Seni, Executive Golf Fun (an international championship golf course), Jaya Bowling, Ocean Eco Park, and Ancol Beach City. Ancol Dreamland also has its very own transportation alternative in its area called the “Gondola”. But unlike what its name really means, the “Gondola” is a skylift cable car system with thirty-seven cars built along the shore of Jakarta’s bay and it offers a view of the resort and the sea as well as the city.

For more information, visit their website.

Happy Valley, Shenzhen, China

Happy Valley in Shenzhen is Mainland China’s most popular theme park is located in southern China’s Guangdong province, which first opened in 1998. Covering an area of 86 acres, the park is composed of 9 themed areas including Spanish Square, Cartoon City, Mt. Adventure, Gold Mine Town, Shangri-la Woods, Sunshine Beach, Typhoon Bay, Playa Maya Water Park, and Happy Times. Magic, acrobatic and sports shows usually are performed in its themed sections. Some of its most notable rides are such as the “Baby Coaster, “Bullet Coaster”, “Mine Coaster”, “Snow Mountain Flying Dragon”, and “Wild Elfin”.

Happy Valley Shenzhen China

In 2008, Happy Valley in Shenzhen saw a whopping total of 25 million visitors.

For more information, visit their website.

LEGOLAND Malaysia

LEGOLAND Malaysia is Malaysia’s first international theme park that opened in Nusajaya, Johor in 2012 with over 70 interactive rides, shows and attractions. It is the first LEGO-themed amusement park in Asia. LEGOLAND Malaysia also features other LEGO-themed attractions including a LEGO-themed water theme park and The LEGOLAND hotel (a LEGO-themed hotels located within the theme park grounds). Almost everything is hands-on, so you can push, pedal and program, or steer, squirt and splash, your way through a truly interactive experience – and of course there are building blocks activities too.

LEGOLAND Malaysia has 7 themed areas of attractions for all ages such as The Beginning, LEGO® Technic, LEGO Kingdoms, Imagination, LEGO City, Land of Adventure, and MINILAND. The centrepiece is MINILAND, where Asian landmarks have been recreated using more than 30 million LEGO bricks. LEGOLAND Water Park which can be enjoyed separately or in combination with the theme park has more than 20 slides and water based attractions and boasts 70 LEGO models.

For more information, visit their website.

Cartoon Network Amazone, Thailand

After years of construction, the long-anticipated Cartoon Network Amazone finally opened on 31st July during a soft launch. Located on Thailand’s east coast in Bang Saray Bay, 20 minutes from Pattaya City and a two-hour drive from Bangkok, the sprawling water park features 10 themed zones that include high-speed water roller-coasters, a beach-inspired wave pool, and Cartoonival, billed as the world’s largest aqua playground with 150 water features.

Cartoon Network Amazone

Little fans of the popular “Ben 10” alien cartoon will also see Humungousaur come to life in a water coaster that takes thrill seekers through circular slides, twists and turns before dropping them 8 m for a heart-racing finish. Little visitors and fans of shows like “The Powerpuff Girls” and “Johnny Bravo” will also be able to splash about with their animated friends and come nightfall, the park puts on high-octane shows with dancers and acrobats, as well as water and light projections.

For more information, visit their website.

Chimelong Water Park, China

Located in Guangzhou, Chimelong Waterpark is the largest waterpark in Asia, recognised for its international standards and for debuting many industry “firsts”. Stretching over 60 hectares, the park currently contains more than 60 attractions and has a daily capacity of 50,000 visitors. But its rides are more than just a pool and water-themed rides, because it boasts 10 Inversion Roller Coasters. It star attractions as such as: Family BoomerangoTM, AquaPlay Giant RainFortress™, Master Blaster®, Family Raft Ride, Dual Waves, WhizzardTM, Body Slides, AquaSpray™, Family PythonTM, Extreme River, and Kids’ Slides.

Chimelong Waterpark China

And that’s not all! The Chimelong Water Park also has other sections in the park like Chimelong Circus (a live entertainment show), and the Chimelong Safari which offers a view of lots of animals. The waterpark also boasts a record of an impressive 35,000 guests in one day. In 2011, it entertained 1.9 million visitors, making it the number #2 waterpark for attendance in the world; the highest in all of Asia!

For more information, visit their website.

Lac Canh Dai Nam Van Hien, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Đại Nam Văn Hiến was opened in 2008, and is said to be the biggest park and tourist destination in Vietnam. Built as a spiritual tourism spot that preserves the traditional culture and history of Vietnam, the area is about 450 hectares. Dai Nam is a huge complex which encompasses a shopping centre, hotel, movie theatre, theme park, campground, water park, zoo, and numerous temples. In fact, the park is so large that people get around by bus and electric train!

Dai Nam Park Vietnam

Dai Nam also houses Vietnam’s first zoo where visitors can get a close up view of formerly wild animals. The 12.5 hectare zoo has 76 species of birds, reptiles and mammals, including many rare animals such as white peacocks, white tigers and white hippos.

For more information, visit their website.

Sanrio Hello Kitty Town, Malaysia

The Hello Kitty theme park in Johor, Malaysia is the first Sanrio Hello Kitty Town attraction outside of Japan. The theme park consists of various walk-through attractions, interactive activities and rides, which follow the Hello Kitty theme. Key features include “Black Wonder”, an interactive activity for both children and adults to save Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel, who has been kidnapped by Kuromi. “Black Wonder” utilises computer and sensor technology to enhance visitor experience as well as devices to interact with during the mission. There’s also Kitty’s House, an partly guided iconic attraction, which will give fans a look inside Hello Kitty’s house, like its name suggests.

Visitors can even look forward to creating their very own Hello Kitty themed souvenirs at the Wishful Studio, get their nails done and dress up as their favourite character. There are also a host of delectable Hello Kitty themed drinks and pastries from the Red Bow Cafe and Cinnamoroll Cafe to delight in between enjoying the activities!

For more information, visit their website.

BONUS:

Twentieh Century Fox World, Malaysia

Twentieth Century Fox will give Walt Disney and Universal Studios a run for their money in 2016 when it opens its first-ever film-inspired theme park. This 25-acre park will rise from the jungle about an hour outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. That’s right – Genting Highlands. As of now, we know that it will feature roughly 25 thrill rides and attractions based on films like “Rio”, “Ice Age”, “Life of Pi“, “Planet of the Apes”, and “Alien vs. Predator”.

20th Century Fox World

The Twentieth Century Fox World is set to open in 2016.

Shanghai Disneyland Park

With parks in Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong, the Shanghai park will be Disney’s fourth outside of the US. The biggest project in Asia, Shanghai Disneyland was expanded in June, bringing the estimated cost to a total USD5.4 billion. Shanghai Disneyland Park will be a new variation of traditional “Disneyland” style theme parks found all over the world, and will not include many features found at most other “Disneyland” Parks. Departing from Disney’s traditional “hub & spoke” design, this park will not include a conventional hub area, nor will it include a railroad attraction circling the park. As a replacement for a “hub”, the middle of the park will instead feature an 11-acre collection of gardens. For the first time in Disney parks history, the park’s carousel and Dumbo attractions will be located in front of the park’s castle instead of behind. Unlike other Disneyland style parks, this park will include neither a “Frontierland” nor a “Main Street U.S.A.” area. On opening day, the park will feature 7 themed areas: Mickey Avenue, Fantasyland, Gardens of Imagination, Tomorrowland, Toy Story Land, Treasure Cove, and Adventure Isle.

Shanghai Disneyland

The Shanghai Disneyland Park is expected to open by the end of 2015.

For more information, visit their website.

Robot Land, South Korea

The government of South Korea is reportedly renewing efforts to build the world’s first robot theme park; scheduled to open in 2016, Robot Land will be located in Incheon, just west of Seoul. Among its high-tech traits are a robot laboratory, a robot game arena, and a robot aquarium. There will also be a water park, a robot restaurant, and roller coasters because, let’s face it, don’t we all love those things?

Construction for the robot theme park is already underway as we speak! Robotland is expected to open in 2016.

For more information, visit their website.

Planning a trip to one of the above theme parks already? To give you a little “push”, here are some upcoming Malaysian public holidays for the rest of 2014 and 2015. Go ahead and take that time off and be a kid again!

Happy holiday planning 🙂

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Lainey
Eats, sleeps, & breathes music, but drinks mostly coffee & okay, some wine - sometimes, a little too much. A little too obsessed with the number seven, is deathly afraid of horror movies, believes that she writes better than she speaks, & currently feeling a little strange writing a profile about herself.